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GAA boss warns fans on Pearse Stadium parking

Enda Cunningham

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GAA warning on Pearse Stadium parking

The head of Galway GAA County Board has said a ‘culture change’ is needed amongst supporters in relation to car parking, as the organisation takes steps to allay a long-standing dispute with residents near Pearse Stadium.

County Secretary and CEO John Hynes said the behaviour of some supporters is “inexcusable” when it comes to parking.

Now, the GAA has drawn up an extensive new parking management plan in response to an Enforcement Notice issued by the City Council.

When permission for the redevelopment of the Pearse Stadium was granted in 1994, a condition stipulated that 500 parking spaces were required.

“It’s our responsibility to provide adequate parking spaces for the people attending games. We did originally have an agreement from Salthill-Knocknacarra that we could use the Prairie – 500 spaces there. That formed part of our original planning application and we got permission for Pearse Stadium on that basis.

“Those spaces were never taken up for one reason or another. In recent years, the pitch is being used more and more, and it would be impractical to use it as a carpark,” Mr Hynes told the Galway City Tribune.

The GAA’s new parking plan involves three ‘levels’ of games, with marshalls in place to direct traffic to carparks.

  • Level 1: Around 35 events per annum, with attendance of less than 1,000 people. Minimum of five days notice. Gardaí will be requested to allocate appropriate resources and place bollards in neighbourhood. Carparking available in Scoil Einde, Coláiste Einde and Arus Bothar na Trá. Marshalls and signage in place.
  • Level 2: Around nine per annum, with attendance of less than 5,000. Club and inter-county matches. Minimum seven days notice. Parking as with Level 1, along with St Mary’s College, T O’Higgins in Shantalla and South Park. Signage and an additional four marshalls in place.
  • Level 3: Around two per annum, attendance of more than 30,000 (such as a Connacht Final with 30,000 capacity). Comprehensive event and traffic management plan developed with Gardaí and City Council, as well as Civil Defence. At least seven days notice. Car parks as Level 1 and 2, along with Park and Ride from Moneenageisha College; GMIT; Trappers Inn; Thermo King; Castlegar Hurling Club and Mervue School. (Total Park & Ride spaces 2,094). Minimum of ten marshalls.

“We are fully aware of the residents’ concerns and personally, I empathise with them. It does cause inconvenience to the neighbours whenever we’ve got games here,” said Mr Hynes.

He said that club games – around 35 per year – (Level 1 fixtures) cause the biggest parking problems.

“Even though they attract the least amount [on average 400 supporters], they seem to be the most troublesome with some supporters parking their cars irresponsibly, illegally, without any concern or thought for the local residents. That’s inexcusable, we don’t condone that behaviour.

“We are convinced we have come up with more than enough parking spaces to meet the condition of the original planning and we would be confident the Enforcement Notice would be lifted shortly.

“We are committed to putting our own marshalls on the road to direct cars to spaces because the reality is the Gardaí don’t have the resources. All they [marshalls] can do is advise people that you’re parking in a residential area and you may be liable to a ticket and direct them to the nearest carpark,” said Mr Hynes.

The GAA head said that changing the culture of supporters is a key issue facing the organisation.

“They shouldn’t block residents in their homes or wheels up on the footpath preventing wheelchairs and buggies from passing. That’s a culture change that has to come about.”

He added that he expects the Park & Ride service for Level 3 events will be successful.

“With the known traffic situation of Galway City and trying to get across the Corrib to the other side of the city, Connacht supporters in Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim and indeed people from North Galway are very familiar with the difficulty of travelling between Claregalway and Pearse Stadium; it’s renowned.

“If we can provide a Park & Ride facility that is serviced regularly where people don’t have to wait more than ten or 15 minutes, it will be successful, we’re absolutely convinced.

“It’s a no-brainer, it’s an educational process. It’s a mindset change that we have to get across with GAA supporters. We are committed to minimising the disruption that games and events cause to [residents] and I fully understand their issues, concerns and frustrations.

“If the Gardaí had the resources and were patrolling the areas, we wouldn’t have half the issues of complaints that we have today, but the reality is the Gardaí don’t have the resources,” said Mr Hynes.

Connacht Tribune

Two arrested following taxi hijacking in Galway

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Gardaí have arrested two men following the hijacking of a taxi in Co Galway last night.

Shortly before midnight, Gardaí received a report that two men who were passengers in a taxi had attacked the driver and stole his vehicle.

The driver was ejected from the car on the M18 motorway.

Gardaí were alerted and observed the car in Claregalway.

A managed containment operation to ‘block in’ the taxi was put in place with assistance from the armed Regional Support Unit.

The car was brought to a stop on Bothar na dTreabh and two men fled on foot. The two men, one in his mid-20s and the other in his early-30s, were subsequently arrested.

They are currently detained at Garda HQ in Renmore under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

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CITY TRIBUNE

Small shops fight back in store wars

Dara Bradley

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Caroline McCarthy

A popular city boutique has threatened to re-open in breach of Covid-19 restrictions – to highlight the unfairness of supermarkets selling so-called ‘non-essential’ goods.

The proprietor of Lanidor on Eyre Street said she is ‘taking a stand’, and has urged all retailers to follow suit, unless the authorities crack-down on those bending the rules.

“This stuff about ‘oh we’re all in it together’ is a load of rubbish,” fumed Caroline McCarthy, who said the multiples were ignoring restrictions while independent retailers remain shuttered.

She said all non-essential retail should be open, or none, but the current situation was “discriminatory”.

“I’ve had it at this stage. I’ve lost it. I can’t put up with this anymore. On a point of principle and on a practical level, someone has to do something about it. It’s not that we want to open.

“We have adhered to every single one of the regulations. But we are making a stand now. We will go ahead and open, at a date to be announced, if they are not shut down. And we would call on retailers across the country to do the same,” she said.

Under public health guidelines only ‘essential’ retail outlets are permitted to open. They are not permitted to sell ‘non-essential’ goods during Level 5. This is to stop people congregating and browsing in order to limit the spread of the virus.

But large retailers such as Dunnes Stores and Marks and Spencer stand accused of selling ‘non-essential’ clothing during the pandemic, even though clothes shops should be closed.

Galway Gardaí visited stores last weekend on foot of a complaint.

A spokesperson for M&S said it was following the guidelines but the tills in its Galway store’s clothing section was staffed on Saturday.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

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CITY TRIBUNE

Vaccine roll-out stalls after advice

Dara Bradley

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Staff from the Paediatric Department at UHG (from left) Mary Scally, Clinical Nurse Manager 1; Cecily Cassidy, Clinical Nurse Manager 2; and Lisa Porter, Play Specialist with shadowbox theatres and accompanying tote bags which are being shared with children in hospital during April as part of an Arts and Health project for Galway 2020 called A Bird at My Window and Other Stories.

The roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine programme in Galway has stalled due to updated advice on the AstraZeneca jab.

Operations at the mass vaccination centre at Galway Racecourse in Ballybrit were  suspended Tuesday, for the remainder of this week at least, to allow the HSE to ‘reconfigure’ its roll-out plan following the new guidance.

The European Medical Agency safety committee concluded that unusual blood clots with low blood platelets should be listed as very rare side effects of AstraZeneca.

National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) then issued revised recommendations for its use, including not administering it to people under 60.

For people who have already received their first dose, NIAC said people aged 60 and older should continue to receive their second dose, as should those under 60 with underlying conditions.

Those under 60 without underlying health conditions – mostly healthcare staff – should have an extended period between the first and second dose, “to allow for further assessment of the benefits and risks as more evidence becomes available”.

Anyone who develops unusual blood clots with low platelets after the first dose should not take the second.

HSE West said vaccination clinics for the over-60s proceeded as planned; it would not say how many people had their vaccination jabs cancelled at Ballybrit.

“Everyone scheduled to get their vaccine at Ballybrit vaccination centre this week has been contacted,” a spokesperson said.

“The HSE is actively looking at the implications of the updated NIAC recommendations for the vaccine roll-out and the implementation of the programme. On receipt of national guidance we will recommence scheduling of vaccines at the Ballybrit vaccination centre.”

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

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